Chennai NGO struggles to find shelter for abandoned child with disability

A 15-year-old boy with developmental disabilities was rescued by Childline volunteers from Kodambakkam in Chennai last week. The boy had run away from an orphanage to look for his parents.

They struggled for many hours to find a temporary shelter for the teenager in the city till his family could be traced.

The child welfare committee in Chennai referred the boy to a government children’s home. However he was denied shelter here as they had no facility for children with developmental disabilities.

Childline then called other shelters but was turned down as there was a problem of lack of space. After more than six hours, a shelter was found for the boy in Kilpauk.

The boy was put in the orphanage in 2015 as his parents said they found it hard to take care of him. Three months later, the parents put him in another child care institution, from where he escaped.

The incident has exposed the major lack of sufficient facilities for children with special needs. There are only three government-aided homes for such children.

Child volunteers say they rescue at least two children every month, most of them 10 and 15 years. There is an urgent need for a unit for such children as all the homes are full.

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